WSR 01-03-136

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


[ Filed January 23, 2001, 3:21 p.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: Establishing rules relating to exclusion of, and regulation of host material for, sudden oak death.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: Chapters 15.13 and 17.24 RCW.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: Currently no rules are in place regarding the lethal plant disease, sudden oak death, in Washington state. Recently sudden oak death has been found in rhododendron plants in California, as well as oak and tanoak trees. Washington is a major producer of rhododendrons in the country, and possible movement into the state of the pathogenic fungi linked to sudden oak death is cause to evaluate rule making.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: USDA APHIS has authority to quarantine and regulate for plant diseases, both interstate and internationally. To date the federal agency has not exercised its powers for many diseases, including sudden oak death, known to be present in the United States, leaving these issues to the states. There is well established precedent for advising and coordinating with USDA APHIS on plant health issues.

Process for Developing New Rule: Washington State Department of Agriculture representatives discuss proposed rule changes with the Nursery Advisory Committee, the California and Oregon Department of Agriculture, Washington State University Extension Service personnel with expertise in this area and with stakeholders and then publish the proposal.

Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Clinton Campbell, PhD, Pest Program Manager, Washington State Department of Agriculture, Laboratory Services Division, P.O. Box 42560, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, phone (360) 902-2071, fax (360) 902-2094, e-mail CCampbell@agr.wa.gov; or Art Wagner, Plant Pathology Project Coordinator, Washington State Department of Agriculture, Laboratory Services Division, P.O. Box 42560, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, phone (360) 586-5309, fax (360) 902-2094, e-mail AWagner@agr.wa.gov.

January 23, 2001

Mary A. Martin Toohey

Assistant Director

Washington State Code Reviser's Office